Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Sony's new smartphone image sensor has its own DRAM; promises 1000fps slow-motion video

Sony has announced the industry's first 3 layered stacked CMOS image sensor with DRAM for smartphones.

The new image sensor consists of DRAM layer added to the conventional 2-layer stacked CMOS image sensor to deliver fast data readout speeds, to capture still images of fast-moving subjects with minimal focal plane distortion.

The high speed readout capability also makes it possible to capture super slow motion videos at up to 1,000 frames per second in Full HD, making the new sensor 8x faster than the competition. Currently Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S7 can capture slow motion video in 720p at 240fps, the highest so far.

In order to realize the high-speed readout, the circuit used to convert the analog video signal from pixels to a digital signal has been doubled from a 2-tier construction to a 4-tier construction in order to improve processing ability.

Apart from allowing users to capture slow-motion video on smartphone, Sony says the new image sensor can read one still image of 19.3MP in just 1/120 of a second supporting high-speed image capture. The image sensor can support still images up to 21.2MP and 4K (3840 x 2160) video at up to 60 frames per second.

Currently, it is now known when Sony's new image sensor will be used in Smartphone, but given the popularity of Sony's camera technology, it could soon makes it way to smartphones.

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